A day before the deadline to fill all the potholes in the city ends, more than 3,000 potholes, that had been reported on the pothole tracking system, are yet to be attended to.
According to figures in the tracking system, a total 28,257 potholes have been reported since June. Of these, 25,105 potholes had been filled till Friday evening. However, the figure is a conservative estimate as a number of potholes in the city have gone unreported.
Under fire for the pothole mess, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had set a deadline of August 25 to fill all potholes before the festive season begins. “I have asked all contractors to increase their manpower and machinery to close potholes immediately,” additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas had said. The standing committee had been assured that all of the city’s potholes would be filled before the deadline.
But the additional municipal commissioner changed his stand on Friday. “We had said that all potholes on the procession routes will be filled; I believe they are all smooth now,” he said.
In the meanwhile, the civic body and the utility agencies have been involved in a blame game. Private agencies that have been asked to refill the potholes have said that the road engineers, in an attempt to meet the deadline, have assigned them potholes which were not dug up by them in the first place.
“There have been arguments between road engineers and private utility agencies over this (the filling of potholes). This is affecting the entire pothole filling process,” said a source in the civic body on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The civic administration has also said that after the August 25 deadline, it will fill all the potholes that have remained unattended by other agencies.